I cross the now dead road and into the lobby of the four story tall complex, I have to finish opening the sliding automatic doors by hand so I can fit through.I drip rainwater all over the foyer floor all the way to the stairwell.
I trudge up the dilapidated stairs, the remnants of the carpet squeaking and squelching beneath my shoes, the elevator in the lobby breaks often and at this time of night, with no one at reception you are better off taking the stairs then risking being caught in the creaking and motion sickness inducing cage for hours on end until someone else needs the elevator and calls maintenance.
The lighting fixture that usually illuminates the flight of stairs leading to the third floor buzzes frantically trying to resurrect the lifeless bulb hanging in it’s coppery embrace, but the bulb has had enough and has gone to wherever it is lightbulb spirits go when they die, but the fixture doesn’t seem to understand this and keeps trying to re-awaken the departed lightbulb, I feel sorry for the lighting fixture and turn the switch off at the wall so it can sleep until someone buys it a new partner.
I walk down the hall, stepping over the nightly build up of detritus, I unlock the three deadlocks on my door and slip through, closing the door behind me quickly so the remnants of a couple’s throes of passion can’t slither through into the bedsit.
There are three messages on my answering machine according to the flashing LED, flash, flash, flash, pause. flash, flash, flash, pause .flash, flash, flash, pause. I hit the play button and dump my battered and threadbare messengers bag.
“Hey Starlyn, it’s Mum. Just calling in to check up on you, you’re probably at work, call me when you get back in.”
I flick on the light and rummage through the fridge, it’s all mainly non-perishables, with a chinese container full of something green on the verge of being counted as intelligent life wedged up towards the back, I take a beer and slump down onto the queen sized mattress.
“Hey Star it’s Dad, look it’s been six months, you’ve made your point, just come back and apologize to Annie, cause she’s still pissed, then you can come home.” I strip off the white raglan and drink half my beer. Not fucking likely olds. What part of she’s more important so I’m going to leave you to it until your done don’t you understand? We’ve talked through this dozens of time. I unlace the battered and faded red chuck tailors that are almost duct-taped to my feet.
“Hey Star.” I get halfway through the action of getting the corona off the bedside table when the voice cuts me off, I cancel the movement and flop backwards onto the bed.“Im- I’m sorry, I’m calling to see- to make sure that-” She keeps stopping her sentences before she’s finished, trying to not say what she’s thinking. “I miss you, call me back when you get this. Please?” I close my eyes, I can almost imagine she’s here; her hair brushing my face as she turns over in her sleep, mumbling something incoherent as she does so. The smell of green apples wafting up to me as she wraps her arms around me and tells me those three words, eight letters, half asleep.
I rest my forehead in my hands and just sit, thinking of all the things I promised. I finger comb my hair, which I still haven’t cut, and reach for the phone and call the number I don’t even have to think about. I hear a mobile ring out in the hallway two seconds before there are two light knocks on the front door.
this is the start of a longer piece I was trying to create that lost it’s wind so I altered it to fit as a short story.